Ange Mlinko

Ange Mlinko’s most recent collection, Venice, was published in 2022.

Is Rachel Cusk’s​ new book a novel, a series of essays or a philosophical inquiry? Parade sends the coin spinning on its edge every time you flip it. It’s the most musical work she has written, a punctus contra punctum, made up of stories that invert themselves in a dialectical fashion, propelled by a set of antinomies: male and female, parents and children, hardness and...

Sprigs of Wire: On Jo Ann Beard

Ange Mlinko, 21 March 2024

Jo Ann Beard’sFestival Days appeared in 2021; The Boys of My Youth in 1998. Republished together as her Collected Works (the book excludes her 2011 novel In Zanesville), they register the two-decade gap between the younger writer who mined her past for stories that read like memoir, and the older one who delves into the lives of others for essays that read like fiction. Shouldn’t...

A crown decayed or unfinished. Disarticulated bricks. An echo.

The cannon face the rolling breakers,aiming at the line where sky and sea collude.What do they defend? The wild enclosure,which for two centuries has lived on rain.

Sixteen million bricks encircle sixteen acres.There are no nymphs where there is no plenitudeof springs, though the sand is quite purethat can’t take the imprint of...

Good Jar, Bad Jar: Whose ‘Iliad’?

Ange Mlinko, 2 November 2023

The inspiration​ for the Iliad was a ruin. The nine pancaked layers of an Asian city referred to as Wilusa on Hittite clay tablets – and known as Ilios or Troia to the ancient Greeks – lie under a mound called Hissarlik in north-western Turkey. The events of the Iliad supposedly take place around the time of the collapse of the Bronze Age in the 12th century BC. By the time the...

An unnamed​ man and woman come together, slowly and arduously, over the course of a novel. She is a poet who has turned mute; he is a language teacher going blind. Her first bout of muteness, which struck when she was a teenager, was cured suddenly in French class by a single word: ‘bibliothèque’. Now she is attending classes in Ancient Greek to see if something in the...

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